How To Not be Lost in Translation

Avoid getting lost in complicated sentences of foreign language. On World Translation Day, we look at apps that will help you translate foreign phrases into your own language for convenient communication while travelling
Translation apps help people from different people communicate easily
Translation apps help people from different people communicate easily

While exposure to varied cultures is a desirable aspect while travelling across countries, one may not be free to do so if stuck with a language barrier. Lack of knowledge of a country&rsquos linguistics may lead to a below exceptional experience. With the advent of advanced technology, this difference has steadily been bridged, making communication easy and efficient. Mobile applications can be used to translate languages and understand a country more effectively. On International Translation Day, here's our reviewed list of translation applications to download for an overseas trip. 


For those who refuse to indulge in complicated software, SayHi is the ideal application. The application has a very basic user interface and does not offer anything additional to its claims. A simple split screen divides the input from the output. You can select the microphone to say a phrase or long press to type a phrase instead. Although 97 languages are offered on the application, I was rather disappointed to see that a handful of the options- including Tamil, Ukranian and Urdu- were not available for text to speech. While the translations are not perfect in some cases, the application does manage to pick up colloquial terms and translate them without losing the tone and intent.   

Photo Translator

While phrases are extremely vital to start and maintain a conversation with local residents, travellers may encounter various instances were they may need a translation for a sign or a menu- that is where Photo Translator comes handy. A rather simple concept, the application allows you to take a picture of any text in a foreign language and translates it to a language of your choice, out of its catalogue of 105 languages. While the translations are not exact, it still manages to explain the writing decently. Apart from the option of translating text, the application gives you numerous other features including audio translation and a reference dictionary, however all these features must be downloaded separately. A major drawback of the application is its constant interruption through advertisements, ironically often for its paid premium version to get rid of said advertisements. 

Google Translate

A one-stop application for all your needs, Google translate provides you with all features required for translation- audio translation, text translation and even a unique feature of decrypting and translating handwriting. While the app makes good sense of any style of writing, I would suggest writing in capitals for optimal performance. In addition to these features, Google Translate also allows you to translate text offline with an additional download of 42 MB. With a wide range of 104 languages, the application is ideal for people travelling across nations and continents. Slang words are also recognised but the application only provides translations in the traditional language, often changing the colloquial terms. You can save popular phrases in a phrasebook for further reference, by marking them. 

Day Translations

Another potential bread-and-butter translation app, Day Translations provides the user with a simple interface and easy access options. With all its features laid down at the bottom, it takes a user only a few minutes- if not seconds- to catch hold of the software. Text and audio translations are available in 112 languages. An additional feature called Pro features on the application for those who wish to translate pictures and documents. This feature on the application is available for people who sign up and often can take some time to deliver.   


Slightly different from its competitors, TripLingo has a rather refreshing interface with bright colours and an animated layout. However, just like the user interface, the application itself is a lot more complex than the ones previously reviewed. It only provides one language per country and the entire phrasebook must be downloaded. Nevertheless, the application is most ridiculously thorough with different tones of a translation loaded with hilarity. Each phrase is translated into a formal, casual, slang and crazy tone the latter two make for a hilarious conversation. Additionally, the app provides text and audio translation. There are obvious drawbacks to the app it is slow to respond and often crashes repeatedly. Despite theses drawbacks, it is the most fun option on the list.  

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